Can Running Shoes Be Used for Walking?

Natalie Cecconi
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Running vs. Walking

You walk with your feet after all, so why not just use the same shoes for both activities?

At first, this might seem like a reasonable thought, but there are significant differences between walking and running with respect to shoe types.

Although the two activities have a lot of overlap, they are definitely not the same. You use different muscles and joints to perform walking and running, so you can expect different outcomes.

When people start to run, they usually have to get used to putting the heel first and taking longer strides. This is because for walking you start with the balls of your feet and push forward with your toes.

What Are the Differences Between Running and Walking Shoes?

Walking and running are two very different physical activities that require different shoe types. In this post, we’ll walk you through what you should consider when choosing walking shoes versus running shoes.

The two most obvious differences between walking and running shoes are their soles. Walking shoes tend to have thicker, denser soles to absorb the shock of uneven terrain. Running shoes, on the other hand, need to be lightweight, with textures to promote air flow and natural motions.

Depending on the type of nature of your surfaces, you may want to choose walking over running shoes, or vice versa.

Walking shoes are generally much cheaper than running shoes, which is why they are the go-to shoe for the masses, including people who walk a lot and urban dwellers who need to travel quickly but don’t want to struggle too much.

When it comes to running shoes, you’re not looking for the same kind of comfort as you when walking. In fact, the most common complaint of runners is the pain caused by unyielding running shoes.

Running shoes need to be lightweight and stiff to provide maximum power to the runner. Runners who walk or run on a regular basis usually look for the lighter option.

Types of Running and Walking Shoes

If you are an avid runner, you already know how important it is to make sure your running shoes are the right ones fo you. After all, you won’t be able to make the most of your workout if running shoes don’t fit your feet right since they are such an important part of your body.

If you have ever been to a shoe store, you know that a variety of options are available. It can be a bit overwhelming to choose from the many different styles of running and walking shoes.

To make your choices easier, it is important to understand the main differences between running and walking shoes.

Running shoes are specifically designed for runners who train hard. If you run regularly or want new technology on your kicks, a pair of running shoes will be a wise choice.

They are generally lightweight and have a firm, cushioned midsole that is designed to absorb shock as you pound the pavement. But there are different types of running shoes that will appeal to different kinds of runners. Shoes may give you the extra cushion or support that a certain kind of foot or arch needs. They also differ in weight, looks, and traction.

A walking shoe is a little different from a running shoe. In general they have a softer sole.

How do you know what category of shoe to buy?

When it comes to athletic shoes, you usually have three main outfitters to buy from. Now each of them makes several different shoes for every sport. And each of those shoes have a different purpose for that particular sport.

And most people when they buy a given pair of shoes find it difficult sometimes to discern between the categories.

So that's what we're going to talk about today.

And the easiest way to do that is to discuss category, which is most appropriate for running vs walking, because that's really what we're trying to figure out here.

The first category of shoes we're going to talk about are the tennis shoes. These are lightweight shoes. They have thin kind of soles. They're very flexible and they're great for running or for exercising but they're not the best for walking, so you wouldn't want to go around town in these.

Another category of shoes that are great for walking and you probably have many of them in your closet are the tennis shoes. These are lightweight shoes. They have thin kind of soles. They're very flexible and they're great for running or for exercising but they're not the best for walking, so you wouldn't want to go around town in these.

Can You Use Running Shoes For Walking?

Running is a sport that you do on your feet, rather than your hands or your knees. In fact, if you run a few miles every day for the rest of your life, you will never use your hands to propel yourself forward. It makes perfect sense to use shoes specially designed for running to help you out. It’s the obvious choice – shoes dedicated to the running cause will allow you to run faster, farther and more comfortably. Now you may ask yourself whether you can use running shoes for walking or not, even though walking is a totally different activity.

The answer is “yes, you can” but they will not be that comfortable or the best option for a long-distance walk. The design of running shoes was created to help runners maximize performance and to enjoy a mile long distance as much as possible. This is why you need a special design designed to reduce friction and gravity.

This design normally entails a thick, cushioned midsole and a hard outer-layer so that you can easily roll forward instead of just weighting down on the soles of your feet. Running shoes also often have a softer heel which will let you absorb the shock from your landing.

Will You Be Doing Any Running?

The best types of shoes to wear for walking and running are different, although many people use running shoes for both activities.

A good pair of running shoes can provide additional support for the arch and ankle when you run. So it’s understandable if you would want to use your running shoes for walking as well.

However, if you intend on using your running shoes for walking, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, if you need the additional support and arch support in the shoes because you have flat feet, you should have custom orthotics made for your walker shoes as opposed to using the inserts that come with running shoes which are designed for the movements of running.

Second, it’s a good idea to have a specialist gait analysis to ensure your walker shoes actually fit the way you walk. This will not only allow the shoe to support the way your walk, but also allow you to function comfortably and minimize your chances of injuring yourself on long walks. Some types of walking shoes can feel overly stiff and restrictive on the foot if they are not fitted correctly.

Do You Like Bright, Vibrant Colors?

Models in these teal shoes often look like they’re strutting right off the catwalk. So don’t worry about your outfit not matching the bright pair of shoes you just got. Teal makes for a great accent color.

Part of the reason why Teal shoes are so popular is that they are perfect for expressing the wearer’s feelings. The color is the perfect medium to project your attitude or emotions to the world, allowing others to see the real you.

The color is said to come from the Middle Ages, but it didn’t really take on a life of its own until the Renaissance. It’s a strong, vivid color that is often mistaken for blue.

Some of the most unique color variations of teal include dark teal, sea green, and green. These colors are not as loud as the typical teal color. But if you really want to make your point, step up to a bright, loud hue.

This color is said to stimulate creativity. The combination of blue and green is fresh and fun. It isn’t too overwhelming, so it’s appropriate for just about anyone.

Is Cost An Issue?

Yes, you can use running shoes for walking. However, one thing you have to keep in mind is comfort. You should be capable of walking in the shoes before you go ahead and use them. Yes, you can use them to walk the dog or go to the store, but just to be sure, you need to run in them first and make sure that you are not going to injure your feet. Wear them to work out at the gym as you would with your traditional running shoes or even wear them with some training pants you have and get a feel for how they will work for you.

A different purpose makes them different from a running shoe. By wearing them to work out, you will get a feel for the comfort level and how they work the different muscles as well as your foot. That will help you determine whether they are the right pair for you to use walking, jogging or running.


Collecting shoes is one of my hobbies. And over the years I have come to realize that most of the time, shoes are the only thing I can wear out of the hundreds that I have.

So if you are planning on building a shoe collection, just be careful how you are going to use those shoes. Most of them will not spend their lifetime sitting in a corner of your closet.

As you may already know, running shoes are not really intended for walking. In fact, 95% of you will never run in them, even if you are a runner. So how do you decide whether to walk or run with the shoes that you want to collect?

If you can feel the pivot point at the midsole of your running shoes when you walk, you are advised to walk in them.

If you feel a rocking motion, then walk in them at your own risk.

If you feel nothing, then there is a possibility that the shoes may not be good enough for you.

Finally, if you have plantar fasciitis, you are better off using orthopedic walking shoes.